20 years ago the germ of an idea was born for a little company, Wireless Island Ltd. Friend and business partner Christopher Ogg hypothesized that PEI was a perfect jurisdiction to use as a test bed and roll out platform for developing wireless technology. Christopher was a remarkable thinker and he theorized that our small size, small population and friendly geography made it possible to make PEI a world leader in wireless internet.
Through introductions arranged by MP Wayne Easter we met with Minister Brian Tobin, Minister Alan Rock and Finance Minister Paul Martin and shared our idea. Our meetings played a small part in the federal BRAND program which invested millions in rolling out higher speed internet access to qualifying jurisdictions. 3 Western PEI municipal jurisdictions benefited from the program and out little company assisted in the roll out. Unfortunately our association with the Liberal Federal government tainted our relationship with the provincial Tories and the Tories seemed to distance themselves from any local support.
Fast forward to today and the recent announcement of higher speed internet coming to rural PEI has made me smile at the memory of Christopher’s dream. His dream is as valid today as it was 20 years ago. I doubt our provincial overlords have the vision but with careful planning, strict management of the telco vendors and continued financial investment PEI could still become a true digital island and be a leader in small jurisdiction forward thinking in the fast pace of internet development.
RIP Christopher. I can still hear your cynical chuckle.
Sent from my iPad